Worthing’s town centre manager responds to trading fears

Christmas lights
Christmas lights

Worthing’s Town Centre Initiative manager Sharon Clarke has responded to concerns over trading in the town this Christmas.

Following last month’s Herald front page article on trade fears expressed by small business, particularly about the expense of parking and competition from online traders, the Herald has been inundated with comments from concerned residents.

Among their key concerns were the price of parking and the fact that internet shopping had impacted on their choice of where to buy festive presents.

In response, Mrs Clarke acknowledged a number of companies had found it hard going over the past few months, but remained hopeful that a late rush would offer a valuable boost to businesses’ coffers.

She said: “There is a mixed picture out there among businesses now. There are some that are reporting trade is going very well having had a good October with high end products, while there are others who have had a bad November and December.

“I think that everyone is concerned about trade and the weather has not helped us lately.

“We are trying to help with things like parking by having rates of 10p an hour for four hours at the Civic Centre this month, which has free parking on Sunday.

There’s also a park and ride operating from Teville Gate that’s only £1.50 which is only seven or eight minutes from the town.

“With more people doing their shopping online, it is important that small businesses in Worthing have an internet presence, so people can still spend their money with them.”